One of the chores that I recently took up is — tada! — going to the palengke (fresh market). I know, I know… I am not very domesticated.
In the past, it was husband who went to the market to buy our weekly supply of fresh meat, fish and veggies. (I’d occasionally tag along.) Then he became too busy with work and too tired to wake up early every Sunday just to do the palengke rounds. So, I pretty much didn’t have any choice. Unless we buy all meat and fish from the supermarket, which if you’re used to palengke-quality fish (most esp.), just don’t measure up.
But yes, I find my new hobby enjoyable, actually. I have my suki fish, chicken and meat stalls. Of course, I buy from the vegetable stall owned by my fellow highlanders. (I’ll remember to take photos with them next time!) Incidentally, I go to Suki Market along Mayon Street in Quezon City. It is a very long drive from where we live, but always worth the trip.
And this is what I found last week at my suki vegetable stall -
Fresh pako (edible fern / fiddlehead fern), Php30 for a small bunch
It was the first time I chanced upon pako. And even if I have never tried them before, I quickly grabbed one of the two remaining bunches as they were going very fast (panic!). Never mind if I didn’t know what to do with them. There’s always Google. And Facebook.
As soon as I got home, I asked on Facebook what to do with them. There were lots of suggestions from friends, so I decided to do the simplest: Pako Salad!
All you need are:
A bunch of pako (leaves and tender parts of the stem)
Salted duck eggs (itlog na maalat, shelled and sliced)
Fresh tomatoes, chopped
Vinegar and olive oil of equal parts
Pinch of salt, dash of pepper
Make the vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper briskly together. (I found this vinaigrette too sour. Next time, I’ll remember to add some sugar.)
Toss everything in the vinaigrette. Perfect with fried fish! Someone on Facebook also suggested to add chicharon (pork cracklings). That would have made the salad more delightful – will do it next time!
Pako, or edible fern (also called fiddlehead fern), is a rich source of fiber, iron, Omega 3, and Omega 6. This bunch that I bought came from Cavite, according to my suki.
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